Motion Control/​Automation

Explore the latest developments in motion control and automation. Discover innovative advances from NASA and major research labs in robotics, autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, PID controller applications, motor drives and power transmissions.

In 1988, a team at Pacific Northwest Laboratories built a mannequin robot. One of the original engineers talked with Tech Briefs about his time making "Manny."
NASA robotics engineers react to Boston Dynamics' back-flipping robots.
Have a product design idea? The "Create the Future" Design Contest is now open for submissions until July 2, 2018.
Digital Temperature Sensors

The ProSense® ETS series digital temperature sensors from Automation Direct (Cumming, GA) now include a precision RTD sensing element, measuring...

NASA is preparing for the next generation of CubeSats that are propelled and will make directional maneuvers. The new gimbal mount provides a seat for the motor, and controls the position of the...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Space Imaging

The term Space Imaging covers a wide variety of mission types and technologies.

Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
Hyperspectral Imaging – Teaching Robots to See

Hyperspectral imaging is an exciting and promising new technology. When combined with modern machine learning software and actuators such as robots, air-jets, or flippers, hyperspectral...

Exciting new technological innovations are making the planet cleaner, people healthier, food more plentiful, transportation speedier, communication more accessible,...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
"Green" Device Generates Electricity from Motion

A wireless triboelectric nanogenerator (W-TENG) generates electricity from motion and vibrations. It consists of a biodegradeable polymer and graphene. When the two materials are brought...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robo-Picker Grasps and Packs

Engineers from MIT and Princeton University have developed a robotic pick-and-place system that consists of a standard industrial robotic arm outfitted with a custom gripper and suction cup. An...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will cockroach-inspired robots support search-and-rescue?

This week’s INSIDER featured a robot that moves like a cockroach. By studying the fundamental principles of object traversal, the technology’s inventors want to apply the idea to search-and-rescue robots. What do you think? Will cockroach-inspired robots support...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Agile New Robot Takes ‘Roach’ Approach
A JHU team has developed a prototype robot that steals some moves from a Central American cockroach species known as blaberus discoidalis.

3D printing uses computer control to fuse layers of polymers or powders into a three-dimensional object. Rutgers University researchers found a way to add to a fourth dimension –...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Comparison Between Wave Soldering and Reflow Soldering

As contemporary electronics embrace light weight, increasing efficiency, and high speed, each link of the manufacturing process also conforms to this philosophy, including printed...

Application Briefs: Automotive
Optical Bonding of Automotive Smart Surfaces

Behr Hella Thermo Control (BHTC) of Lippstadt, Germany, manufactures automotive interior components. As the demand for smarter cars increases, BHTC encountered a new automotive interior challenge:...

Articles: Motion Control
Driver Design in Piezoelectric Motors

For most electrical engineers, the simple term “motor” means one thing: an electromagnetic rotary-motion unit. Engineers who need linear rather than rotary motion consider adding a mechanical...

Application Briefs: Motion Control
Simplifying Cloud-Based Remote Access and Data Logging

Smart manufacturing capabilities should be built into machines, particularly those with advanced functionality such as motion control. Even if the factory is not currently connected to...

Servo control systems require accurate control of motion parameters such as acceleration, velocity, and position. This requires a controller that can apply current (torque) to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hydraulically Amplified Actuators

Soft robots are made from soft materials that react to applied voltage with a wide range of motions. Such soft robots contain tremendous potential for future applications, as they adapt to dynamic...

Using 3D printers, researchers have created a metamaterial from cubic building blocks that responds to compression forces by a rotation. Usually, this can only be...

Ring Motor

ThinGap (Camarillo, CA) introduced the PM model TGO77 large-bore compact ring motor for precision and highspeed applications. The brushless, frameless motor has an outside...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Software Brings Movement to Linear Actuators

Linear actuator manufacturers have a history of strong mechanical design expertise, which is the core of any linear actuation; however, giving motion to modern powered equipment goes beyond a...

The wide variety of industrial applications each independently calls for a level of robustness from the physical (PHY) layer, all the way up to applications. Time...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New on the Market: February 2018
Product of the Month

Fluke Corp., Everett, WA, introduced the Fluke 3560 FC Vibration Sensors and Fluke 3502 FC Gateway for equipment vibration analysis. The sensors enable remote capture of...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Electric Propulsion for Nanorobots

Scientists have developed a novel electric propulsion technology for nanorobots. Traditional nanobots take minutes to carry out actions, sometimes even hours. Therefore, efficient molecular assembly...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
And on That Farm He Had a…Robot?
Farmers in Europe are increasingly turning to robotic weeders. A specialist from University of California, Davis tested out the technologies.
INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Float Like a Robot, Think Like a Bee

Cornell University engineers have been experimenting with a new type of programming that mimics the mind of an insect.

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Flexible “Skin” Senses Shear Force

To date, it has been difficult or impossible for most robotic and prosthetic hands to accurately sense the vibrations and shear forces that occur, for example, when a finger is sliding along a tabletop,...

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive

Metal Injection Molding’s Role in Automotive

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Technical Ceramics: The Powerhouse of Advanced Materials

Upcoming Webinars: Software

PPAP Reviews Using AI and Machine Learning

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Customizing Actuators Using COTS Drive Components for Martian...

Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

2020 Create the Future Contest Awards

Upcoming Webinars: RF & Microwave Electronics

Advancement of Spectrum Analysis Techniques for Tracking,...

Trending Stories

Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers

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Briefs: Materials

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Articles: Energy

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NASA Spinoff: Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

High-Power-Density Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Development of Vapor-Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal System

Videos